Nancy Turner Interview
On Air Talent
Formerly Moody Radio
Career Capsule: Most recently before retiring from full time, I was with Moody Radio in Chicago. During my time at Moody I had my own program called “This Is the Day”, and I did a podcast called “In The Green Room”. I was on the air daily on Moody’s Praise and Worship channel, on Moody’s Cleveland station WCRF, on the Moody network coast to coast weekdays and on the weekends and I hosted 9 AM until two on Moody Radio daily.
I started in radio in high school in junior achievement on the local radio station WNIL around 1966. My 1st radio job was WSJM in Saint Joe Michigan playing country music. Then went to WJVA in Mishawaka Indiana, did country, became the program Director, hired a consultant who took my name to Bob Pittman at WMAQ in Chicago. I was offered the seven to midnight job on Country station WMAQ in Chicago out of 300 applicants in the late 70’s. I worked at satellite music network coast to coast and then went to US 99 in Chicago and did middays. After that I joined KIX country in Chicago followed by a time at WLS FM in Chicago.
Nancy, tell us what’s new at Moody Radio… any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?
Since I’m not working at the radio station and going in daily I really can’t tell you all the new things that are going on there. So I feel like I can’t answer your question about what’s going on at Moody. Dan Craig would be happy to talk to you about that I’m sure!
As far as me, I felt like the Lord was telling me that I have talked all of my life as I’ve been in radio for virtually my whole career over 50 years. I feel like he’s telling me that I need to listen now and I am actively trying to do that and seeing what he’s going to bring my way. And when I retired, I felt God telling me to stop worrying about what was next and to start thinking about what is now. And so as I’m on this journey, I’m seeing what he will bring my way, and it has been astounding.
I am meeting so many different people with hearts that are looking and seeking something. I’m finding that he is giving me the opportunity to speak into that. I get up and take sunrise walks and I’ve met the most beautiful people along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago. I am meeting heroes, people who have survived their own lives through many tragedies. I’m finding lots of opportunities to be in prayer. I am taking photographs and using them to touch people, posting them on social media and sending them out. Everything is a teacher. I am a student.
I’m so grateful.
I’m hoping that God will open some doors for me to do some narration possibly, and to use my voice. But right now I feel that he is working on my heart, and that’s my greatest desire.
You recently have retired (April 2022)… tell us about how you came to that decision, etc?
A few years ago I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the time I may have left with good mobility, motivation, and good health. I knew that I wanted to travel, spend time at home and with family and friends. After having been in the workforce since I was 15 years old, and in the broadcasting field for over 50 years, I thought this would be a good time to start taking advantage of these years.
Although I really felt like I could do radio till I’m 80 or 90 years old!
Plus, I felt it was time for someone who is more technically skilled than I am and with a fresh outlook. You know when it’s time to leave the stage, and I felt like it was time.
What is the one accomplishment you’re most satisfied with in your career (in Christian Radio) in (Secular Radio)?
I am so grateful that God has allowed me to do what I love to do for virtually my whole career. He opened all the doors and I just walked through them. It’s all been about God even in the secular radio stations. For me I think just every day going on the air and sharing my heart to remind folks that they matter, that they can have hope, and encouraging them was what gave me joy. And that was Christian and secular radio. Although meeting Bob Hope was a pretty big deal for me while I was a WMAQ. He was my guest DJ one night during my seven midnight shift!
What’s something you’ve learned about Christian Radio due to the pandemic, that you didn’t know before?
During the pandemic I realized that people just needed to be spoken to softly, they needed calm and reassurance and a sense that things would be all right. People needed hope. All of that was right in my wheelhouse of what I love to do. I still really can’t hardly believe my wonderful good fortune that God gave me to do what is my exact heart and what I love for over 50 years.
Reflecting on changes in the industry over the years what is one that you feel had the most impact on Christian Radio?
I’m going to tell you I’m probably old-fashioned, but I think that one thing will stand the test of time through the ages.
To me, that one thing is being real with the person I’m talking to on the other side of that microphone. I always imagined that I was talking just to a single person and I’m looking at them and relating from my heart. Talking like I would if I was standing with them or we were having coffee. I’ve cried on the radio with our listeners. I think out of all the ways to get people to listen longer, this is the only one that really works. It is to find out what they want and give it to them.
On air talent has always been at the heart of Christian Radio, where do you think the future personalities will be found?
That’s a really good question. I think perhaps Christian air talent will be found in the secular market as folks come to faith. Maybe even somebody who’s never been a radio person but he has a heart to share.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Obstacles facing Christian radio. Many of the same obstacles facing Christians. There has been such division and misrepresentation about what a Christian is. I had to learn that a Christian is not somebody who reads their Bible and goes to church and does good things and good deeds. A Christian is a follower of Jesus, plain and simple.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I’m so proud of all of the ladies that have pursued their place in the broadcasting field and on the radio. They are heroes of mine.
I loved the era of radio where it was so much more theater of the mind, with stories and live music and call ins. If I were to say what I think would be wonderful, it would be to bring all live radio back instead of so much of it being pre-recorded.
One thought on “Nancy Turner Interview”
In the summer of 1984 I was going through a very stressful period in my life. I discovered Nancy Turner’s program on WMAQ radio and her warm-hearted radio personality comforted me.